Larry Zaccaro, Author and Scientist – Podcast Episode 36

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Our guest today is Larry Zaccaro, scientist, author, game designer, Toastmaster, and more. Larry is the author of children’s book Amy and the Orca and the insightfully philosophical novel Convergent. He invented the card game Wordplay, is a member of the Mystic Aquarium Toastmasters Club, and in his free time he helps his son who founded Tox Brewing in New London, Connecticut.

Theme song produced by Patrick Howard of Four Unicorns Design
Woosh sound from Benjaminharveydesign
https://freesound.org/people/benjaminharveydesign/
Pullquote music: Perls by MusicParadise License

Thanks to Pat Helmers of Habanero Media for all his great advice in getting this podcast back up and running.

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Previous Episode: Tyler Hespeler, Realtor and Real Estate Investor

Multi-level Marketing: Why Won’t My Team Do the Work?

Network marketing why isn't your team doing the work?
Why isn’t your team working? I have some thoughts that might help.

I talk to a lot of people in multi-level marketing who lament that their team won’t do the work. This is a problem across different markets and companies, and it is rooted in the way the team is built.

First, let’s talk about how a multi-level marketing company is supposed to work. The concept is simple. You have a company that makes a great product that stands apart from it’s competition in a significant way. Generally it is a premium product that delivers a premium result for a premium price, and there’s no good way to get across that value proposition in a retail setting.

Multi-level marketing, also known as “Network Marketing”, takes the concept of word of mouth to the next level by turning passionate customers and fans into the sales force. You’re already telling all your friends about the products you use, why not get paid for it?

It’s a great model until you try to scale and rush it, and that’s the short answer to the question above.

There is a very small percentage of the population who is naturally outgoing enough to do this effectively without detailed, step by step support and hand holding. Even they must become passionate fans of the product before they will put their reputation behind the business.

Here are a few tips for multi-level marketers who would like a more engaged team.

Spoiler: it’s all about the products!

Consumer, Fan, or Fanatic, then Distributor

The multi-level marketing concept works by the distributors being drawn from the most passionate customers. Too many companies and team leaders are getting greedy and trying to skip this crucial first step.

If you are leading with the “opportunity” and not the product, you will not succeed because you are selling nothing more than a pyramid scheme.

There are three kinds of customers: consumers, fans, and fanatics.

Consumers like the product. They consume it and are happy to do so. That’s all they want. They don’t want to sell it. They just want to use it.

Fans like the product and want to share it. They are willing to work hard enough to get their own stuff for free and maybe make a couple bucks, but they do not want to start a business.

Fanatics believe in the product so intensively that they believe that it is a tragedy that there are people who are not familiar with the products. They will start a business, and probably walk through fire, to share this message.

People in all three categories can be quite satisfied where they are if you look at each one individually. The Consumer is happy to consumer. The Fan is happy to do a little work for a little reward. The Fanatic is happy to build a real business.

It all starts when they love the products.

Right Goals, Right Results

If you are not seeing your customers in these three categories of Consumers, Fans, and Fanatics, then you will encounter great frustration. You will also notice that none of these three groups are really motivated by the money. Why? Because there are easier ways to make money. Certainly not for everyone, but the kind of person who could build an empire in your company could do it anywhere else as well.

For the Consumer, you can do nothing more than stoke their love of the product. Don’t bug them about becoming a distributor. They don’t want or need the money, or at least they are not interested in doing the work to get that money. By pushing them you will do nothing but push them away, and eventually lose them as a customer.

For the Fan, applaud the work they do. Let them know that more is possible, but don’t pressure them. They know what is possible, and they can also feel when you are putting your needs ahead of theirs. They don’t need to build a business, so don’t act like you need them to.

For the Fanatic, that’s where you build them up as a fellow business owner. If every person on the team is a “business owner”, the the true entrepreneur will look around, see people less committed than themselves and think they’re in the wrong place. However, if you look at and treat your Fanatics as a class apart, they will appreciate the complement and rise to the identity you create for them.

It’s About the Product, not the multi-level marketing opportunity

If you are not leading with the product, then you’re just selling a get rich quick scheme, and it will fail because, while you may be able to sell this dream to your people, they will not be able to sell it to yours. The product, however, sells itself.

Focus first on the product.

The most successful multi-level marketers I know talk almost entirely about the product. Some may make an occasional mention of the opportunity. One lists five ways they help people, and number five is financial, but it’s never the focus.

When people hear you lead with how great the opportunity is, they are unsure about many things but they are sure about one thing: The opportunity is not that great. Even if the opportunity was great, it ceases to be once everyone’s in it.

However, if you lead with the product, they’re willing to accept that possibility, and the growth of the company is a compelling argument for that quality. You don’t want to tell people they want to sell your product. You want to get them so excited about the product that they say, “how can I get in on that?”

There’s No Engagement If You Don’t Work For It

One place I see people fail in multi-level marketing is that they lead with the opportunity and they give it away to anyone.

If they don’t have to work to get in, they won’t care if they lose it. If any random person off the street can walk in, pay a few bucks for a kit, and get started, then there’s no real investment.

You may think that the start up cost is an investment that will make people feel engaged. You would be wrong. If you told me that for $97, I’d have a 5% chance of making $10,000, I’d make that investment. I’d try it for a month or two, then, when I didn’t see return, I’d walk away. It was a gamble. It didn’t pay off. On to the next thing.

Money is replaceable. Time is not. If you make me invest my time, or even better, my ego, then I’ll stick with it a lot longer.

Rather than let anyone into the program, make them work for it. Require them to use the products for three months before you’ll even talk to them about the affiliate program. Make them record a testimonial video and share it online. Make them use a variety of products. Make them commit as a customer and evangelist before you invite them into the exclusive club of distributors.

By doing this, you have their mental investment. They have become passionate about the products. They have publicly committed to the products. They’ve worked for the privilege of being part of the team.

Once they’re on the team, you can remind them of how hard it was to get in and how easy it would be to fall out.

Their Dreams, Not Yours

Why are they doing this? Sure, everyone wants more money, but most people aren’t willing to put in the work.

You can tell people how many dollars they can make all day long, but if those dollars aren’t attached to their own goals and dreams, it’s meaningless. They will give up at the first sign of resistance.

$100,000 is just a number. Making sure my child will have a good education is a cause I’d walk through fire for.

For each person on your team, do you know what their dreams and goals are? Are you presenting the payoff in their own terms?

If you are, have you convinced them that the outcome they desire is possible? It doesn’t matter who else has done it. You have to talk to each team member and show them individually how their assets allow them to succeed.

When I work with prospective clients in my Solution Oriented Marketing program, the focus is always on their needs, never mine. People care about their own dreams, not yours.

Growth Is Not Proof of Opportunity

There is a finite market for the product that your company produces. At a certain point, the market will become crowded and high earning will become difficult. It never becomes impossible because a superlative entrepreneur can make anything work, but difficult is enough to prevent your team from thriving.

Don’t use the growth of the company as evidence of how great the opportunity. Amazon is one of the fastest growing companies in the world, and their workers are underpaid and miserable.

Instead, use the growth as evidence that the products are the best products. The opportunity is not in the math. It’s in the value of what you sell.

Yes, the products again. That’s the key. You sell products, not dreams.


I work with entrepreneurs of all kinds to help them grow their businesses and achieve their dreams, and that include multi-level marketing entrepreneurs.

If you would like to learn more, email me or click here to set up a free 10 minute strategy phone call so we can discuss if and how I can help you build your business.

Solution Oriented Marketing

For most business owners, sales and marketing are a necessary evil to be able to do what they want to do for their customers. Sales often feels adversarial and almost hostile. What if there was a way to engage with people whom you can help that put you both on the same side without the us vs them feeling of traditional sales?

Solution Oriented Marketing
Solution Oriented Marketing allows you to sit on the same side of the table with your clients from the first interaction, eliminating the uncomfortable, adversarial sales process.
Continue reading “Solution Oriented Marketing”

Six Stages to Success and Goals

There are many stages on the way to achieving goals

As I have been diving into my coaching work, I am finding that everyone is at a different stage in their journey to achieve their goals. I wanted to share my thoughts on how one might delineate those stages to assess where they are in the journey.

In this article, I’ll discuss the six stages and what you can expect at each stage as well as some brief thoughts on what you should do to move to the next one.

Continue reading “Six Stages to Success and Goals”

Tyler Hespeler, Realtor and Real Estate Investor – Podcast Episode 35

Tyler Hespeler, Realtor and Real Estate Investor
Tyler Hespeler, Realtor and Real Estate Investor

Podcast: Play in new window | Download | Website

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Tyler Hespeler, a local Realtor and real estate investor here in the Mystic area. It all started when he and his wife bought a fixer upper home and discovered that there was the potential to make money in real estate. One thing led to another, and now Tyler invests in real estate and helps other families on their own real estate journey.

Theme song produced by Patrick Howard of Four Unicorns Design
Woosh sound from Benjaminharveydesign
https://freesound.org/people/benjaminharveydesign/
Pullquote music: Perls by MusicParadise License

Thanks to Pat Helmers of Habanero Media for all his great advice in getting this podcast back up and running.

Our thanks to Tyler Hespeler for a great interview.

Contact Tyler Hespeler
https://tylerhespeler.bhhsneproperties.com/
IG @tyler_hespeler
FB Tyler Hespeler
YT Tyler Hespeler
LinkedIn
860-941-9779

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Previous Episode: William Martin, Executive Director, Waterford Country School
Next Episode: Larry Zaccaro, Author and Scientist

William Martin, Executive Director, Waterford Country School – Podcast Episode 34

William Martin, Waterford Country School

Podcast: Play in new window | Download | Website

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A great conversation with William Martin, the executive director for the Waterford Country School. Nearly a century old, the Waterford Country School serves kids that might otherwise be left behind, through their foster homes, the unique schooling programs, their therapeutic boarding school, and more, they provide support that truly makes a difference to the kids they serve.

To contact the host, Michael Whitehouse, email michael@guywhoknowsaguy.com

Credits:
Theme song produced by Patrick Howard of Four Unicorns Design
Woosh sound from Benjaminharveydesign
https://freesound.org/people/benjaminharveydesign/
Pullquote music: Perls by MusicParadise License

Our thanks to William Martin for a great interview.

Need an introduction from The Guy Who Knows A Guy?
I Got A Guy!


Previous Episode: Dawn Airhart Witte, Founder of Desire to Inspire Foundation
Next Episode: Tyler Hespeler, Realtor and Real Estate Investor

Dawn Airhart Witte, Founder of Desire to Inspire Foundation

Dawn Airhart Witte, Founder of Desire to Inspire Foundation

Podcast: Play in new window | Download | Website

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Dawn Airhart Witte is an Entrepreneur, author, international speaker and philanthropist. She has a mission: to inspire people around the world to find their purpose and live it! She is a certified life coach and the founder of the Desire to Inspire Foundation, a non-profit organization that connects with communities around the world to break cycles of extreme poverty. Dawn has also penned several books, including Be… which imparts an important message about perseverance, purpose and putting kindness out into the world.

Links

Dawn’s books:
Be…
Recipes for BEing: the Power of Seven
Be …: A Coloring Journal Planner

The Desire to Inspire Foundation

To contact the host, Michael Whitehouse, email michael@guywhoknowsaguy.com

Credits:
Theme song produced by Patrick Howard of Four Unicorns Design
Woosh sound from Benjaminharveydesign
https://freesound.org/people/benjaminharveydesign/
Pull quote music track from: https://www.bensound.com


Previous Episode: Dr. Tracy Romano, Mystic Aquarium Chief Scientist

Dr. Tracy Romano, Mystic Aquarium Chief Scientist

Tracy Romano, Aquarium Chief Scientist

Podcast: Play in new window | Download | Website

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Dr. Tracy Romano DTM is the Chief Scientist of the Mystic Aquarium. We discuss her journey to become a scientist, the exciting work she is doing, and the benefits of Toastmasters.

To sign up for a Mystic Aquarium membership, visit https://www.mysticaquarium.org/visit/membership/

Mystic Aquarium Toastmasters Website
Facebook page

To contact the host, Michael Whitehouse, email michael@guywhoknowsaguy.com

Credits:
Theme song produced by Patrick Howard of Four Unicorns Design
Woosh sound from Benjaminharveydesign
https://freesound.org/people/benjaminharveydesign/
Pull quote music track from: https://www.bensound.com


Previous Episode: Elijah Manning, Inclusive Education LLC

Elijah Manning, Inclusive Education LLC – Podcast Episode 31

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In this episode, I interview Elijah Manning. As Elijah became involved with social justice movements over the past few years, he realized he wanted to do more than just march in the streets. He saw that one of the areas with the greatest potential to make a difference is education, so he is founding his company Inclusive Education, LLC to make that change. People of color and women are completely entwined in our history, our literature, our science, our mathematics, so their contributions should be entwined in our curricula.

To contact the host, Michael Whitehouse, email michael@guywhoknowsaguy.com

Credits:
Theme song produced by Patrick Howard of Four Unicorns Design
Woosh sound from Benjaminharveydesign
https://freesound.org/people/benjaminharveydesign/
Pull quote music track from: https://www.bensound.com


Previous Episode: Christine Conley, 40th House District

Christine Conley, 40th District Connecticut State Representative – Podcast Episode 30

Guy Who Knows a Guy Podcast, Christine Conley

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Today we are speaking with Connecticut 40th District State Representative Christine Conley. She represents parts of Groton and Ledyard. We’ll be talking about how the Connecticut legislature functions, the integral role of bipartisan cooperation in the structure of the legislature, and the peculiar way that elected representatives can find themselves serving as customer service for state agencies.

You may also be interested in the interview with Joe de la Cruz, 41st District Representative.

Guest Contact Information:
860-240-8585
800-842-8267
housedems.ct.gov/conley

To contact the host, Michael Whitehouse, email michael@guywhoknowsaguy.com

Credits:
Theme song produced by Patrick Howard of Four Unicorns Design
Woosh sound from Benjaminharveydesign
https://freesound.org/people/benjaminharveydesign/
Pull quote music track from: https://www.bensound.com


Previous Episode: Ray Currier, COO and EVP CorePlus Credit Union